Guidelines on the criteria for promotion and tenure
This document describes with more specificity the indices and standards that will be used to evaluate whether candidates meet the general criteria in Section 7.11 of Faculty Tenure. For a complete perspective, the reader is advised to review Section 7 in its entirety.
II. College mission statement
The mission of the departments of the College of Science and Engineering comprises three objectives: the education of students and professionals at all levels through a dedication to effective teaching; the pursuit and dissemination of new knowledge through original and creative research; and the advancement and application of scientific and technical knowledge and expertise through professional service.
III. Criteria for tenure
Section 7.11 of Faculty Tenure specifies the criteria for tenure:
7.11. General Criteria. The basis for awarding indefinite tenure is the determination that the achievements of an individual have demonstrated the individual's potential to continue to contribute significantly to the mission of the University and to its programs of teaching, research, and service over the course of the faculty member's academic career. The primary criteria for demonstrating this potential are effectiveness in teaching and professional distinction in research; outstanding discipline-related service contributions will also be taken into account where they are an integral part of the mission of the academic unit. The relative importance of the criteria may vary in different academic units, but each of the criteria must be considered in every decision.
To be awarded indefinite tenure, a faculty member in the College of Science and Engineering must demonstrate effectiveness in teaching and must establish a record of excellence and creativity in scholarly research and its dissemination. These are the primary criteria, and the fulfillment of both is a minimum requirement for the awarding of indefinite tenure. Extraordinary distinction in teaching alone, or in research alone, is not sufficient for the granting of indefinite tenure.
A faculty member may choose to participate in service to the profession and in other governance and service activities. In some disciplines service contributions are an important and integral part of a faculty member's professional life. These contributions, however, are secondary to the teaching and research components in evaluations leading to decisions related to the granting of tenure. An outstanding record in the service component alone is not, by itself, sufficient to form the basis for a recommendation to indefinite tenure.
Effectiveness in teaching is assessed from the candidate's contributions to the overall teaching mission of the university including, where appropriate, classroom, laboratory and individualized instruction at both undergraduate and graduate levels, the supervising of graduate students, and the advising of postdoctoral personnel.
Examples of factors which may be used in the evaluation of effectiveness in teaching at the undergraduate level include, but are not limited to, the following:
- written evaluations by students;
- written evaluations by peers based upon invited classroom visitations;
- development of new courses and/or laboratories;
- supervision of undergraduate research projects;
- advising of undergraduate and professional student organizations;
- development of instructional materials;
- publication of textbooks;
- local and national awards for teaching.
At the graduate level, the primary consideration in establishing teaching effectiveness is expertise in the teaching of advanced courses, in the conducting of graduate seminars, and in the supervising of graduate students at the masters and doctoral levels, including peer evaluation of the progress of the candidate's advisees. Other factors that may be taken into consideration at the graduate level are:
- written evaluations by students;
- written evaluations by peers based upon classroom and/or seminar visitations;
- development of new courses and/or laboratories;
- supervision of postdoctoral personnel and other post-baccalaureate programs and students.
The quality of a candidate's research and the impact of the work within the candidate's professional discipline are the primary criteria by which professional distinction in research is established. Examples of factors upon which an analysis of the research accomplishments of the candidate may be based include, but are not limited to, the following:
- written evaluations of the candidate's research activities and of the candidate's publications in reviewed research journals and research monographs. These evaluations are requested from persons who are generally recognized as leaders in the candidate's research area. The reviewers may include persons within the University and must include at least 4 from outside the University, some of whom should be of international stature. The candidate will be asked to suggest the names of reviewers to the department head in consultation with the chair of the departmental promotion and tenure committee. The Procedures for Reviewing the Performance of Probationary Faculty require that: The department should seek appraisals both from persons suggested by the candidate and from other recognized scholars in the field.
- written evaluations of the candidate's publications in the form of abstracts, conference preprints, conference proceedings, and other professional publications. These evaluations are an integral part of the documentation upon which the decision on the quality of the candidate's research is based, but they do not form the primary basis for that decision.
- participation in professional conferences, symposia, meetings, and special lectures, especially those for which participation was by invitation.
In evaluating the candidate's research contributions through the various avenues of publication and presentation, the objectives are to establish the work is of high quality, that it is a scholarly and creative contribution to the candidate's professional discipline, and that it is a measure of the candidate's potential to make continuing contributions in pure and/or applied research.
Other qualifications that the candidate may have acquired, and that may be used to establish the candidate's research ability include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
- election to prestigious national organizations that recognize excellence in a discipline.
- research awards and honors granted by professional societies, government agencies, and industry.
- external research funding from sources outside the University, only in as much as this is a measure of the research skill and competence of the candidate.
- patents, inventions, and other such developments of a significant scientific or engineering nature.
- publication of scholarly review articles and research monographs.
Section 7.11 of Faculty Tenure includes the following statement.
Outstanding discipline-related service contributions will also be taken into account where they are an integral part of the mission of the academic unit.
In some units, service to the profession is an integral component of a faculty member's professional obligations. It enhances the faculty member's professional reputation, and it brings recognition to the department and the University. By itself, however, service to the profession is not a sufficient basis for the granting of tenure in the College of Science and Engineering.
Examples of service contributions to the profession include, but are not limited to:
- editor or associate editor of a refereed scientific or technical journal.
- officer in a national or international scientific or technical society.
- member of a national or international scientific or technical committee.
- member of a governmental or private advisory committee.
- organizer of a national or international symposium or conference.
The reviewing of technical or scientific papers for journal publication and conference presentation, and the reviewing of proposals for funding agencies, are recognized as services to the profession but are not weighted as heavily as the services listed above. Where appropriate, participation in the governance of the institution and other services to the University and the academic unit may be included as additional support for a tenure recommendation. Examples of such services include, but are not limited to, active participation in departmental, collegiate, and University committees.
The following paragraphs describe the criteria for promotion to tenured ranks from within the College of Science and Engineering. The same criteria and standards are applied for appointments from outside.
A. To associate professor (with tenure) from assistant professor (probationary)
Promotion to the rank of associate professor from the rank of probationary assistant professor in the College of Science and Engineering is always accompanied by the granting of permanent tenure. Thus a candidate for promotion to associate professor must have established a professional record that meets the requirements for effectiveness in teaching and professional distinction in research as set forth in this statement. Service contributions are also included in the evaluation of the candidate, but cannot be used in place of either the teaching or the research criteria.
Tenure decisions may be made in any year of the probationary period, as described in Section 5.2 of Faculty Tenure and Sections 8 and 9 of the Procedures for Reviewing the Performance of Probationary Faculty expand upon the above as given below.
8. Tenure decision may be made at any time.
A decision on tenure may be made in any year of the probationary period. It is not necessary to wait until the end of the probationary period, either to recommend tenure or to recommend termination of an appointment.
A candidate must be considered in a formal tenure review in the last year of the probationary period or the designated time in a shorter probationary period. A formal review must also take place at the times required by special contract. A formal review may be initiated at any earlier time by the department head or by the vote of the tenured faculty of the department. The candidate may request an early tenure review; the department will decide whether to conduct it.
9. A decision to terminate appointment may be made at any time.
At any time, a department may recommend termination of a candidate's appointment. It may do sowithout seeking outside review, if the candidate's performance is so clearly short of the required standards that this course of action is appropriate. A department does not need to seek outside review if the candidate's performance on any of the primary criteria is so deficient that positive evaluation of the other criteria would not warrant appointment.
A major change in the program emphasis and goals of an academic unit may be used as a factor in the decision to recommend tenure or to recommend termination of the candidate's appointment. This is addressed in Interpretations, number 6 of Faculty Tenure.
6. Interpretation of 7.11
The use of any factor other than teaching, research, and service in making the decision about a probationary faculty member must be specifically stated and justified at the time of the decision. This rule applies both when the factor is a criterion for judging the candidate's progress and when it is an element in establishing or modifying the standard which the faculty member should achieve.
A change in the program of a unit or college may be used as a factor in a decision only when the change has been adopted in accordance with the established procedures of the University, after consultation as required by those procedures. It must be explicitly identified. If such changes affect the prospects of probationary faculty members to achieve tenure, the faculty members should be given the earliest possible notice of the potential impact of such changes.
B. To associate professor (with tenure) from associate professor (probationary)
The granting of indefinite tenure to an associate professor on a probationary appointment requires that the candidate meet all the requirements for effectiveness in teaching and professional distinction in research as set forth in this statement. The comments on the promotion of probationary assistant professor to the rank of associate professor with tenure (Section IV.A.) are also applicable to the granting of tenure to a probationary associate professor.
C. To professor from associate professor
A candidate for promotion to the rank of professor must have achieved a high level of professional distinction through research contributions to the candidate's discipline that are distinguished by substance, quality and creativity, and through consistently high standards in teaching. Service to the profession, participation in the governance of the institution, and other services to the department, college, and University, may be taken into consideration, but they are not in themselves bases for promotion to the rank of professor. Promotion to the rank of professor will not be granted solely on the basis of length of service to the academic unit.
For promotion to professor, the candidate is expected to satisfy the criteria specified in Section III, with emphasis on:
- high quality research which indicates that the candidate is among the leaders in the field, as documented by letters from acknowledged national and international leaders and contributors to the knowledge base in the field.
- demonstrated high quality teaching.
- a record of effective advising of masters and doctoral degree candidates.
- the effective advising of post-doctoral personnel in disciplines where this is appropriate.
Examples of other factors that may be used to establish a candidate's professional reputation include, but are not limited to, the following:
- invitations to national and international symposia and conferences.
- membership and the holding of office in professional societies.
- general professional contributions such as editorships, expository writing, and other activities that enhance the professional stature of the candidate.
The methods of assessment of the performance of a candidate being considered for promotion to the rank of professor are the same as those employed in the granting of tenure.
The departments of the College of Science and Engineering comply with the procedures as provided by Sections 7.4, 7.61 and 16.3 of Faculty Tenure.